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Student volunteers clean up Texas beaches
PORT ARTHUR - by Lauren Huet
Most eighth graders wouldnt want to wake up early on the weekend to pick up trash, but Destiny LeBouef said she was eager to help.
"I think it's very important for kids my age to help clean up, said LeBouef, who is an eighth grader at West Orange-Stark Middle School. Because as they grow older they learn more, so they can do more."
High school and college students volunteered as well.
A senior at Nederland High School, and president of the Key Club, Mariela Garcia, said its important for young people to lend a hand.
"I think it's really important because our community does so much for us, said Garcia, and it's a way to give back. Also, this is our beach, and not everybody likes to go to a dirty beach, so we try to keep it clean for others so they can enjoy it as much as we do."
Thanks to middle school, high school, and college students, this year was one of the biggest turn-outs for the three local Adopt-A-Beach sites.
The site coordinator for Adopt-A-Beach, Kendall Barrow, said at first he didnt think many people would show up. Then at around 8am, people began to pour in.
"I mean, about 5 or 6 buses pulled in after that, said Barrow, and we had anywhere from 400 to 500 bags, that we had previously made up, go within the first hour."
That is very impressive to our community that our young people are taking care and note of what our beaches look like, said the media coordinator for the Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach program, Vickie Cleveland.
Today at 29 beaches across the Texas coast, thousands of volunteers turned out to pick up trash.
Cleveland said that if volunteers did not provide this service, trash would pile up on Texas beaches.
"If we did not come out here and clean the beaches, said Cleveland, the items that are left hereit takes years to dispose. Glass is a million years to dispose [of]. A Styrofoam cup, if I remember correctly, is about 250 years."
Carlos Caballero, a junior at Lamar University, said he found tons of trash collecting in the bushes along the sand.
"It will collect right in those bushes right there, he said. So right there will be tons of trash. We found diapers, a lot of beer bottlesa lot of people have parties over here and just leave all their junk."
The students hope everyone who visits the beach helps to keep it clean.
"You know we live here, said Caballero, this is what we have. It's good, it might not be the prettiest thing in the world, but it's our beach and we need to take care of it."
The Adopt-A-Beach clean-up happens twice a year: once in April and again in September.